The west side of Duluth is where to be on Wednesday. It’s a powerful lineup in the Clyde Iron Works event center starting with the high-energy rock of the Fontanelles. Duluth’s beloved minimalist rawkers, Low, come next. Expect new songs; the band has a new album coming out later this year.
Alan Sparhawk, who was instrumental in putting the local music scene on the map, is quick to give credit to others when asked about the fest hitting the 20-year mark.
“Homegrown to me has always been a celebration of each effort made over the years by individuals to make a vibrant community — the many people who, by sharing their voice and passion, have paved the way for others to do the same,” Sparhawk says.
Insert ear protection for the next act. The recently reunited Dames can still melt faces off and erupt eardrums. It’s their first Homegrown set since 2002. Frontman Tony Bennett is characteristically deadpan about the band’s stage persona (or lack thereof).
“A lot of bands like to pull off crazy stunts during Homegrown, but we’re just doing what we always did. We’re kinda no-frills. Apologies to those who demand frills,” Bennett says. “We just put on the helmets and jump into the mineshaft.”
After Clyde, late-night Hump Day fun can still be had at veritable neighborhood institutions like Mr. D’s, the Gopher and the Kom-on-Inn.